Sunday, 18 November 2007


God, give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed;
Give us the courage to change what should be changed;
Give us the wisdom to distinguish one from the other.
Reinhold Niebuhr 1892-1971

I find myself focusing on this, and there's a comfort in it. I've battled to change the system (as I have experienced it) of mental health care for the past four months. I've focused on how things should be, of the unfairness, the wrongness of it all. The overall situation hasn't changed, for all my fighting.
However, on Friday I realised that small changes have happened. I did manage to have my care transferred, and my new mental health team is light years better than the old one. I have made people who have "influence" within the system hear that the system doesn't always do what it should, and sometimes it fails those who need its support quite spectacularly. Maybe I have made some of those people realise that what they thought was happening (because they had put guidelines / policies / rules in place) wasn't, in fact, happening.
Finally, on Friday morning, I saw concrete evidence that what I was saying could lead to larger actions. For months I have been asking for policies to be put on BLPT's website. Given the difficulties I had getting hold of policies when I needed them, and given the stress I experienced as a result of the obstructive and unlawful refusal of the PALs office to provide me with said policies, this had become an important issue to me, and the promises that the policies would, indeed, be put on the website "in due course" (which later became "next year"), this was improtant to me. Well, on Friday I had an emails telling me that the policies WILL be put on the website NEXT WEEK!
While this doesn't change the level of anxiety I am feeling about the final response to my complaint (due to be with me tomorrow), it has, in a rather odd way, strengthened my resolution that, whatever the response contains, that particular battle will end with the response. Although I have said that I needed to have vindication, a far deeper part of it was needing to change things for others. something has shifted within me so that I can see that continuing this battle will cause me more stress - something I really don't need. So I am moving on from this particular fight - amybe continuing it other ways, but without the personal focus.
Now I just have to cope with the anxiety and hope the response tomorrow is better than I fear.


Kathryn said...

You are amazing and have done inredibly well...That is the thing to hang onto, regardless of whether tomorrow's outcome is the "right" one.
You have indeed made a difference - and I hope that when you look at your courage and tenacity in this, it will also make a difference to how you feel about yourself.
Love, hugs and blessings xxx

MMP said...

like the new format

Rainbow dreams said...

Hi Caroline,
What you have achieved is incredible - you have achieved both for you, and for others and that is no mean feat...any change in thinking is a major step forwards.
I will be thinking of you tomorrow and hope it is easier than you anticipate.
You're sounding stronger than before... hugs and love

ps did the washing machine arrive?

MMP said...

...and praying...